“Leadership is about staying true to your vision,” says charity chief executive

Leadership in charity, voluntary and commercial organisations is about being curious, motivated – and grateful, the chief executive of Services For Education, the Birmingham-based education charity, has said in a national report, What 3 Words Leadership Locations Report.

Sharon Bell, the charity’s chief executive, is one of 100 charity, business and organisation leaders from throughout the UK asked to reflect on leadership qualities – and summarise their views in just three words.

The top five words cited by leaders were learn, curious, collaborate, passion and adapt – according to the 60-page report which has been published by Starfish Search, the senior executive search and interim management service business. The report was launched at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Contributors to the What 3 Words Leadership Locations Report also include the chief executives and directors of organisations as diverse as St George’s Hospital Charity, Blue Cross, Unicef UK, Age UK, St John Ambulance and Scouts.

“Leadership is about ensuring the organisation stays true to its vision, creating a culture which enables all colleagues to give of their best and, at the same time, ensuring the organisation is well placed to serve its customers in the years to come,” said Sharon – who became chief executive of the education and training charity in 2019. Services For Education employs more than 200 staff delivering music tuition to children, and expert training and development to teaching and school support staff.

“In my four years as Chief Executive of Services For Education, leadership has been about enabling and supporting the team to deliver our mission – of bringing music and learning to life – whilst at the same time, with senior colleagues, plotting a path through the various and sometimes unexpected situations which come our way, such as the recent broader societal economic challenges.”

The report says that, based on the responses, “Modern leadership is all about learning: being open to new philosophies and opportunities, being curious about others’ experiences and stories, and being OK about learning from the things that didn’t go as we had expected, and moving on.

“In such fast-changing times, when everything is a work-in-progress, how can leaders be expected to know everything, and to get everything right first time? Effective and resilient leaders use their self-awareness to maintain progress by constantly adjusting their own approach to suit shifting conditions and different relationships.

“With the end goal firmly in mind, they can relate their own role and presence to the communities around them, building rapport, cooperation and support, and adapting their style to meet emerging priorities and moods,” the report says.

“The one certainty leaders have is that there is no certainty to bank on,” the report concludes.

“Through their positive and big picture outlook, their agility and entrepreneurialism, their personal resilience and unshakable belief in what they do and in their people, the strongest leaders exist in a state of ‘perfect imperfection’ through which they will achieve their end goal,” the report says.

The report is available at https://www.paperturn-view.com/?pid=ODc8769968


Pictured: Left – What3Words Leadership Locations Report. Right – Sharon Bell, Chief Executive, Services For Education

For further information:

Public and media relations for Services For Education:

David Clarke

E: david-c@clarke-associates.co.uk;

M: 07808 735255

About Services For Education:

An education and training charity based in Birmingham, Services For Education brings music and learning to life. Services For Education employs more than 200 staff delivering music tuition to children, and expert training and development to teaching and school support staff. It has annual income of £6.9m (Y/E August 2022). Part-funded by the Arts Council, England it also has its own fund-raising and subsidised commercial operations.

  • Services For Education’s School Support Service provides expert training and development to teaching and support staff in nearly 600 schools in the West Midlands and increasingly across England, to improve practice and ensure teachers are best equipped to respond to developments in curriculum and policy. As a leading provider of safeguarding education, Services For Education works with 400 schools delivering training in-person and on-line. It also delivers innovative programmes to support the physical and emotional health of children and young people through Health for Life and other community-based activity.
  • Services For Education’s Music Service, one of the largest in the country, works with 93% of Birmingham schools and each year teaches music to nearly 32,000 children – as well as running 97 free ensembles. It provides 27,000 musical instruments free-of-charge so all children have access to playing and enjoying music together and its Youth Proms at Symphony Hall give 4,000 young musicians the opportunity to perform to an audience of more than 10,000. It also runs music schools, has a world music department, provides private music tuition to all ages as well as working with partners to deliver music and choral opportunities to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. Its award-winning Online Music Educational Resource was completed and launched free to schools in 2021 to appeal to a young IT-connected audience attracted to learning online and to complement traditional tuition.

Issued on behalf of:

Services For Education
Unit 3 Holt Court
Holt Street
Birmingham Science Park
Birmingham B7 4AX

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